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Virgin Witch

Virgin Witch is a 1971 British horror exploitation film about a prospective model who joins a coven of witches. The film was directed by Ray Austin and features sisters Ann and Vicki Michelle.

Virgin Witch
Virgin witch poster.jpg
US film poster
Directed by Ray Austin
Produced by Kent Walton (as "Ralph Solomons")
Written by Beryl Vertue (as "Klaus Vogel")
Starring
Music by Ted Dicks
Cinematography Gerald Moss
Edited by Phillip Barnikel
Distributed by Tigon Film Distributors Ltd.
Release date
Running time
88 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Contents

PlotEdit

Sisters Christine and Betty (Ann and Vicki Michelle) leave home to find employment. Christine successfully auditions for modelling agent Sybil Waite (Patricia Haines) and is offered a weekend's work shooting an advert at a house in the country. Christine takes Betty with her to frustrate Johnny (Keith Buckley), an older man who is attracted to Betty.

The modelling job is actually a ploy to initiate Christine into a coven of white wizards of which the owner of the house, Gerald Amberley (Neil Hallett), is leader and Sybil high priestess. Christine, who has psychic abilities, joins of her own free will, believing that magic can be used for good as well as evil. Christine's powers create tension between her and Sybil, who is a lesbian and has a predatory sexual interest in her. The conflict escalates when Sybil vows to have Betty initiated into the coven.

At the initiation ritual, Christine wrests control from Sybil by psychically torturing her. Betty is rescued by Johnny, who has been alerted to Sybil's true nature by a friend. Christine then uses her powers to kill Sybil and take her place as high priestess.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

The producer was "Ralph Solomons" (a pseudonym of Kent Walton),[1] whose other producing credits include The Green Shoes, It's the Only Way to Go, and A Persian Fairy Tale. Although Hazel Adair's name appears in the credits (as co-writer of the song "You Go Your Way"), she did not admit to co-producing the film until 1975, when she featured in an episode of the BBC's Man Alive on the subject of sex films. The revelation that prompted Cinema X magazine (vol 4, issue 4) to remark that her films "are far removed from Miss Adair's more cozy world of Crossroads", Adair's other films include Clinic Exclusive (1971), Can You Keep It Up for a Week? (1974), Keep It Up Downstairs (1976) and the more mainstream Game for Vultures (1979).

"Klaus Vogel", who wrote the script and the film's tie-in novelisation, was in fact Crossroads producer Beryl Vertue.[citation needed]

Virgin Witch was filmed in Surrey during 1970 and previewed in the December editions of Mayfair and Continental Film Review (in which the title was referred to as "The Virgin Witch"). However, the film is copyrighted as a 1971 production, and censorship problems would mean it was not widely seen until 1972.

The country house location, Admiral's Walk in Pirbright, Surrey,[2] would be later used by Norman J. Warren for his films Satan's Slave (1976) and Terror (1978).

Censorship historyEdit

Virgin Witch was rejected by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) in April 1971, but was passed with an X rating by the Greater London Council for a limited release in the capital. The BBFC eventually relented and passed a cut version for general release in January 1972.

The 1990s video releases on the Redemption and Salvation labels are uncut, as are the current UK and US DVD releases. Glamour model Teresa May appeared on the cover of the 1993 UK video release of the film on the Redemption label (she also modelled for the cover of their video release of Baron Blood and the never-issued release of Don't Deliver Us From Evil).

The Michelle sisters have disowned the film. Vicki's website[3] makes no reference to the film, while Ann's refers to it as "not an experience Ann cares to remember".[4]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit